The Russian society in Korea stirred as news spread that the victim of the middle school student mob violence that occurred in Incheon turned out to be the child of a Russian single mother. Following testimonies that the 14-year-old victim was often ostracized in school for having a multi-cultural background, many Russians living in Korea expressed empathy.
"There are many cases that Russian children suffer in school from bullying," Primacova Tatiana (39), chair of the Russian Community Association in Korea, said in a telephone interview with the Dong-A Ilbo on Thursday. “The stories are shared on social media. Most involve cases where children are being bullied for their color of their skin or appearance." She also said that the children are called as "foreigner" instead of their names, adding that some cases even involve violence.
Some say that they were ignored for being a "foreigner parent." “When I heard that my child was bullied at school, I wanted to speak with the teacher but I was denied,” said a Russian parent of an elementary school boy. "It was only after my Korean husband called and expressed anger when I was able to meet the teacher. My child speaks Korean fluently and loves kimchi. He was being ostracized because of his appearance."
The Russian Community Association in Korea and other communities will gather at the Seoul Global Center next Wednesday to hold a discussion to urge government measures to address discrimination. As of September 2018, there were 22,781 Russian Koreans living in Korea, the third largest multinational ethnic group after Chinese Koreans (325,643) and Americans (43,929).